Now, just ask the Buckeyes’ quarterback Terrelle Pryor and he can tell you all about him.
Soon the NFL Draft will as well. Watt tweeted minutes ago that he’s entering the NFL Draft; and the Twitterverse blew up. Want to learn more about the former walk-on who went on to win the Lott Impact Trophy?
Here’s Nick Grays profile feature we recently did on him:
Watt came up huge this past Saturday by sacking Pryor twice and collecting four tackles. Three of those four tackles resulted in a loss in yardage. Not bad for a guy who was attending community college and delivering pizzas less than three years ago.
Justin James Watt is excelling in his third year with the Badgers. Not only does the defensive end lead the team in sacks (4), but also in tackles-for-loss (11.5) and passes defended (6). His 11.5 TFLs is good for tenth in the nation.
Watt is one of those exemplary players who gives it all he has every time he takes the field. Moreover, he plays with an intensity and emotion not matched by many players. You can just tell he appreciates being on the field; look at his patented sack celebration if you don’t believe me. That’s why it’s fitting how his road to success has been anything but easy.
In 2007, Watt started 14 games at Central Michigan where he served as their tight-end. His freshman year was an uneventful one as he caught only eight balls for 77 yards. The disappointing year led to a tough decision which involved walking away from a full-ride scholarship at Central Michigan.
Watt proceeded to give Badgers’ Head Coach Bret Bielema a call to ask if there was anyway he could be a walk-on for the next season. This is when Watt headed back home to Pewaukee, WI to work at Pizza Hut and take six credits at the community college in preparation for the University of Wisconsin the next fall.
Despite the mystery surrounding what would happen next, Watt worked hard and became a walk-on for the Badgers’ football team. From there on, Watt didn’t turn back as his first year was spent on the scout team during a redshirt season. He would go on to be named UW’s scout player of the year.
His first full season at Wisconsin was also a moderate success as he helped lead the 2009 Badgers to a Champ Sports Bowl win with two tackles for losses, a sack and a fumble recovery versus Miami.
This season, Watt has exceeded expectations by filling in nicely for Badger standout O’Brien Schofield who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Awards continue to pile up for the junior as his big game against the Buckeyes earned him the Lott IMPACT player of the week. Watt was also named to the preseason and midseason first-team All Big Ten squads as well as appearing on the Lott Trophy Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award watch lists.
Expect more awards to come the defensive lineman’s way by the end of the season.
Do you think J.J. Watt will be playing on Sundays? What does Watt’s play mean to the Badgers? Let me know the answers to these questions or anything else Wisconsin Badgers by commenting below!
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